Threat to society
Government spells 'health' with 'w'
June 2009: Washington appears to have finally stood up to the manufacturers of these
deadly products! I'll gladly remove this page when the executivesserial killers in suitsare
brought to justice.
Auto makers have won yet another victory in the government's attempt to deal with the Felony 450 X's deadly safety record.
The popular sports car is responsible for an estimated 450,000 deaths in the United States each year and skyrocketing auto insurance rates.
Studies reveal the auto's exhaust contains 4,027 chemicals200 of which are known poisons and sixteen which have been shown to cause cancer. More recent studies reveal that other drivers and pedestrians are also in danger of the high levels of carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and other deadly emissions.
The State of Minnesota charges that over 39,000 secret documents prove the manufacturer knew the powerful sports car had dangerous design flaws as early as 1950.
The Felony 450 X's development has been highly subsidized by the government from the beginning and is credited with reducing unemployment in the economically distressed "rust belt" of eastern Michigan and northern Indiana. Lawmakers from auto-producing states and lobbyists for the auto industry have continued to stymie efforts to get the killer cars off the roads. Now, the government is trying to set limits on how much injured and disabled motorists can sue the manufacturer in court.
At the same time, The National Transportation Safety Board is requiring a warning on the dash board stating "Driving this vehicle is hazardous to your health." California has since banned the vehicle from all public roadways, and other states and communities have imposed similar restrictions.
The president of the United Auto Workers, however, argues, "We actively oppose the Senate Commerce Committee bill because of it's punitive impact on consumers, manufacturers, suppliers, employees, and share holders."
Opponents of the Felony 450 X counter that 450,000 dead consumers each year are already being "punished."
Okay, you've already figured I'm not talking about cars, right?
Here's what I can't figure out: Why are tobacco companiesthat manufacture a product that kills more people than drunk driving, accidents and mass murderers combinedis in any position to negotiate a "sweetheart deal" with the government?
When auto makers produced a few exploding cars and trucks (remember the "Pinto"?), the government didn't come to their rescue. When Timothy McVeigh bombed a Federal office building, he didn't negotiate a better deal with the government. (Although the killing of 168 innocent people is indeed a tragedy, smoking kills the equivalent of 2,419 Oklahoma City bombings every single year!)
So, why should tobacco companies be treated any differently than manufacturers of any other product that proves to be hazardous to our health?
Perhaps it's because Americans seem to value "life" much less than "liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Perhaps it's because we can't grasp the reality of nearly a half million deaths from tobacco-related deaths every year.
Perhaps it's because Washington and big business often spell "health" with a "w."
Or, perhaps it's one of those things we'll never understandlike the return of the Volkswagen "Beetle."
Copyright © 1998 James N. Watkins
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